November 15-16, 2009: NASA hosted a unique two-day Tweetup for the liftoff of Space Shuttle Atlantis at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. NASA Twitter followers in attendance had the opportunity to take a tour of NASA's Kennedy Space Center, view the space shuttle launch and speak with shuttle technicians, engineers, astronauts and managers.
Map created by STS-133 NASA Tweetup attendee Nate Bergey (@Natronics), showing just how close tweeps get to view the Space Shuttle launch from -- the press site and historic countdown clock just 3.1 miles away from pad 39A!
November 16, 2009: "NASA officials were pleased with the punctual launch, but the Twittering invitees were downright ecstatic. They were among the first to sign up online last month for the opportunity to see a launch up close, and filed Twitter updates practically nonstop. [...] The space agency sees it as a beneficial outreach program, especially as the shuttle program winds down and the future remains murky." - Marcia Dunn (AP)
March 27, 2010: Regarding the first launch NASA Tweetup - "For NASA, it was an epic undertaking. So massive was the event that they had it in mind to never do anything like it again. That is, until they saw the effect it had on, well, everyone. Hundreds of lives were changed, far more than just those that were there to see it in person. When the folks at NASA saw the full impact that this tweetup had, they knew it would not be the last one. And it hasn't been." - @DaveFlys
November 16, 2009: "Am I reading my tweets correctly? Did a group of people just cheer when they announced that the Space Shuttle hatch to the crew compartment passed the leak check? And look how many people are following the current fuel cell issue, with interest piqued...
Houston, we've finally got a Shuttle launch, social media style." - Amanda Stiles (@alias_amanda) of X Prize Foundation
November 20, 2009: "The genesis of this tweetup happened in the spring, when NASA realized shrinking news outlet staff meant they would have to turn to more direct means of public communication to get the message out, said NASA communications official Beth Beck (@BethBeck)." - Elizabeth Howell (@howellspace)
November 17, 2009: "This was the...fifth tweetup NASA has held, but it was their first connected to a shuttle launch. I think it's safe to say it was a huge success, both for them and for us [participants]. I was going to come to the launch anyway and I would have had a spectacular time regardless. But the tweetup transformed the experience into something downright life-changing. We got the experience of a lifetime, new friends, free souvenirs and access to things the public doesn't usually see. NASA got 100 passionate advocates who will spread the word about the value of the space program [...]
This was one of those signature moments of a lifetime -- a dream fulfilled, and a passion reignited." - Adam Levermore (@lexigeek)
May 14, 2010: Writing about the then-upcoming STS-132 NASA Tweetup, "Space Shuttle Atlantis is poised to launch to the International Space Station, and NASA is hosting a Twitter meet-up, or tweetup, at the launch.
If you're one of the 150 lucky invitees attending the shuttle launch as guests of NASA, I can tell you from personal experience that you are in for a huge treat...." - Rob Wilson (@RoBOotc)
December 7, 2009: "When the van carrying the astronauts stopped en route to the Shuttle so the press area could wave them off (a NASA tradition), because of the tweetup it was the largest gathering of people there since Apollo 11 -- NASA history in the making." - @KeithBarrett
Keith discusses the social media coverage and resulting media impact of the NASA STS-129 Shuttle Atlantis Launch Tweetup. Also included are the series of on-site reports by David Waters (@DavidGWaters) for SpaceFlightNow.com (@SpaceFlightNow).
November 15, 2009: On-site report from STS-129 NASA Tweetup attendee Pamela L. Gay (@StarStryder). Tweeps heard from STS-125 astronaut and Hubble repair spacewalker Mike Massimino (@Astro_Mike), rocket scientist John Cowart (@Rocky_Sci), former Shuttle Program Manager and Flight Director Wayne Hale (@WayneHale), Veronica McGregor of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and other speakers.
November 19, 2009: "There was something different this time. From the veteran reporters and public affairs officers at the NASA News Center to mission managers in the firing room, NASA's Kennedy Space Center was buzzing about the fresh burst of enthusiasm as the clock ticked toward liftoff of Atlantis on STS-129." - @NASA
November 17, 2009: "It may not have taken a rocket scientist (or aficionado) to have guessed that the Space Shuttle Atlantis launch and NASA tweetup would cause a spike in Twitter traffic. What is surprising is that it wasn't the most-tweeted NASA story of the past week--that honor goes to the announcement of the discovery of water on the Moon."
CNN's John Zarrella interviews NASA Twitter followers who were invited to watch the Atlantis shuttle launch. The tweetup was also mentioned during Anderson Cooper 360, Campbell Brown and The Situation Room on November 16, 2009.
November 15, 2009: "NASA is about to open space shuttle launches to a whole new audience.
About 100 lucky followers of NASA's Twitter feed are descending on the agency's Cape Canaveral, Florida, spaceport to get a front row seat to the planned Monday launch of space shuttle Atlantis. The gathering is the first time NASA has held and event for Twitterers to view a shuttle liftoff in person." - Clara Moskowitz (Space.com)
November 25, 2009: "...I was contemplating the remarkable experiences of that day: standing so close to launch pad 39A and Shuttle Atlantis, the incredible program of speakers we had been privileged to hear and meet, and the tour of KSC. And of course the next day would bring me closer to a Shuttle launch than most people on Earth will ever be. The words that came into my mind were those of Dr. Christopher Kraft speaking in commemoration of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, at [2009's] John H. Glenn lecture: 'NASA is the best return on investment this country has ever seen and is today the best government agency to get a return on investment.'"- @CatherineQ
December 23, 2009: "In the last month, I've sent my footage/photos off for inclusion in a documentary on the event, given two presentations and kept up with my space news. The people I net and continued to follow on Twitter have been a never ending source of news, reminders and updates that there's so much going on over our heads." - Stuart Gleave (@the_defiance)
November 17, 2009: "As I walked to the News 13 tent, I composed my thoughts for my upcoming talkback with BN9 anchor Al Ruechel. Al has seen 18 launches in his lifetime, and he told me that he teared up at every single on.
I could understand why. The magnificence of what the launch meant -- that we were sending human beings into space -- was driven home in the most concrete terms." - Caitlin Kuleci Constantine, Bay News 9 (@bn9NASA)